Ellen Gronemeyer, Astrobot, 2010, oil on cardboard, 15 3/8 x 11 3/4".

Ellen Gronemeyer

Galerie Karin Guenther

Ellen Gronemeyer, Astrobot, 2010, oil on cardboard, 15 3/8 x 11 3/4".

Berlin-based artist Ellen Gronemeyer doesn’t often show her paintings. But that’s for good reason: Her pictures take time. She always works them over intensively, and her motifs emerge through this process. The small-format canvases in her recent show, “CDU/CSU” (named for the German center-right political faction), reveal that Gronemeyer, who is constantly developing and refining her artistic techniques, has brought her painting to a high level of compositional density. She presented just eight paintings and one drawing. Some are still, tight-lipped portraits; some retain a more cartoonlike or caricatural mode; and some are near abstractions in which a face can just barely be glimpsed. Portraiture has occupied Gronemeyer for years; again and again, always in different ways, she makes it an occasion to play at figuration within abstraction, combining and merging the two. The way

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